- Venue: Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium, Pallekelle
- Date: 6th March 2020
- Time: 7:00 PM IST
- League: West Indies tour of Sri Lanka 2020
Sri Lanka Preview
Sri Lanka lost the toss and the match in the 1st T20i at this venue. While the stats indicate the team batting first at Pallekelle in T20is won more matches, Sri Lanka’s bowlers struggled to maintain a decent economy. The average 1st Innings score on this ground is 168 and Malinga’s men conceded 196 runs for 4 wickets in the 1st T20i. While Thisara Perera can’t be relied on when it comes to picking up wickets at the top-order, Matthews hasn’t played many T20is in the recent times.
It will come down to Lasith Malinga and Wanindu Hasaranga to get quick wickets in the power play. In addition, Laskhan Sandakan will also be crucial in finding breakthroughs through the Windies middle-order. While the bowling department can make a comeback, it’s the batting department where Sri Lanka needs to bounce back strongly.
Avishka Fernando and Kusal Perera will need to build a strong partnership at the top while Angelo Matthews and Kusal Mendis need to score bigger at numbers 4 and 5. The batting line-up goes deep with Thisara Perera and Isuru Udana at numbers 8 and 9 in the order. However, only a Wanindu Hasaranga has shown some positive intent in the lower order while the middle-order failed in the 1st match.
West Indies Preview
Windies turned their fortunes around in the 1st T20i match after their ODI series loss earlier in the tour. Players like Lendl Simmons, Andre Russell, and Oshane Thomas were not part of the ODI squad. However, they made the biggest impact in the last match leading the side to victory. While Lendl Simmons was unbeaten on 67 runs, Andre Russell (35) and Kieron Pollard (34) made some quick contributions in the middle.
The two all-rounders in the middle scored at a strike rate of 250 and 226 respectively. While the batsmen made significant contributions with the bat, Oshane Thomas bagged 5 wickets for 28 runs in his 3-Over spell. West Indies have a stronger batting set-up with batsmen like Shimron Hetmyer and Dwayne Bravo who didn’t bat in the last match.
While Nicholas Pooran was out for a not-so-impressive 14 off 12 balls, the presence of Russell and Kieron Pollard in the middle makes Windies a formidable batting side. In addition, Russell also contributed with the ball along with Sheldon Cottrell and Rovman Powell. Watch out for Russell with the ball as well in the 2nd T20i along with Bravo to make an impact in the middle overs.
West Indies to win the match
West Indies carry the winning momentum and more firepower in their batting order than Sri Lanka. While Sri Lanka also has a deep batting line-up, only a few of their batsmen are reliable in a contest against some of the best in the format. Also, Windies can dominate the hosts with the bat again as they did in the previous match.
However, the toss will be crucial as Sri Lanka will fancy their chances of a win by opting to bat first if they win the toss. Malinga will need to be at his best if the hosts are to restrict a batting line-up comprising of Russell, Pollard, and Simmons.
Fantasy Team Tips
- While Kusal Perera was the only batsmen in the top 4 to score big for Sri Lanka, Nicholas Pooran is the second-most selected wicket-keeper among the fantasy teams.
- Another Sri Lanka opener Avishka Fernando has an attacking approach in his batting. While he is a player to watch out for, Kieron Pollard is crucial for Windies in the middle-order.
- In the all-rounder department, 94% of the fantasy teams have selected Andre Russell who’s in great touch presently. In addition, Wanindu Hasaranga has also consistently delivered for Sri Lanka with the bat.
- 73% of the fantasy teams have drafted Hasaranga. These two players are significant for the hosts with the ball as well.
Fantasy Team Prediction
- Wicket-Keepers – Nicholas Pooran, Kusal Perera
- Batsmen – Kieron Pollard, Avishka Fernando, Brandon King
- All-rounders – Andre Russell, Wanindu Hasaranga
- Bowlers – Lasith Malinga, Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell
- Captain – Lendl Simmons
- Vice-Captain – Kusal Perera